Lucia Fairfull’s music is the antidote for the dreary; disco-infused one minute, dreamy punk sounds the next. Plucking narratives from everything wonderfully dramatic about being young – from nights out to nights in, falling in and out of love, and the friendships that come and go along the way – it’s relatable escapism you can’t help but dance to.
From a remote town in Scotland, Lucia Fairfull moved to Glasgow to pursue a career in music and found there’s no place quite like it, with its vibrant musical history and a thriving scene of artists who band together to support and create. Having honed her voice busking on the city’s streets, the musician swiftly built a reputation, repertoire and resilience. Now Lucia can boast support slots with the likes of Black Honey and Dream Wife – not to mention Bay City Rollers – and a SXSW debut last week.
Clementine Zawadzki: How was SXSW
Lucia Fairfull: SXSW was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. There were lots of different creatives there from around the world, and it was a really cool thing for so many people to come together for the festival. I made a lot of good friends and really hope that I get to go back. Everyday was something different, of course we saw lots of bands play and chatted to loads of people, but it was just so different in general, everything has so much character – I felt like I was in a film.
CZ: What’s the process been like for you from starting out busking to where you are now?
LF: I wasn’t initially playing the kind of music that I wanted to be playing and I didn’t feel like I was going anywhere, I was in limbo. If you’re going to be in the music industry you need to have patience, it takes time to develop as an artist. I think that’s made me a really independent person, just coming out and being yourself and not caring what people think. You just need to not give a fuck and go with it –0 you get the best reaction that way.
CZ: It’s a learning process…
LF: Definitely, and I think as you get older you obviously change a lot – especially in your teenage years – and I think it’s just through growing up and meeting different people and being inspired by different things that you find your way and fine-tune how you want to present yourself.
CZ: Did you meet anyone early on who has been instrumental to your development as an artist?
LF: I grew up in quite a small area, so I was always around my friends who were really supportive of me and pushed me because they knew what I wanted to do, and when I moved into the city – being Glasgow – I had so many more opportunities come at me and I met loads of different people. Being a musician, a lot of my friends are in the music industry, either in bands or photographers who take photos of those bands, so I’m inspired by my friends because we’re all in the same boat doing the same thing.
CZ: What’s the scene like in Glasgow at the moment?
LF: Right now I’m happy to be growing as an artist in Glasgow. You know, a lot of people say, “Oh, you should be in London,” or whatever, but that’s just not true at all. There are so many amazing bands in Glasgow right now and everybody is so supportive of each other. It’s not competitive at all, everybody helps each other out and we play each other’s shows… like my best friend is a photographer and she’ll always take pictures of me and I’ll do anything for her. It’s really good and tight-knit.
CZ: Who are some of those artists we should be listening out for?
LF: To name a few, The Ninth Wave, Walt Disco, Declan Welsh and Lylo. All good friends of mine and all very talented musicians who sound completely different to one another.
CZ: Your imagery has a really vintage edge to it. Does the visual element follow the music?
LF: I was listening to a lot of 70s music, but a lot of people in Glasgow really got me into what I’m doing now. I think the 60s vibe kind of thing came from listening to Ronnie Spector and girly groups, my vibe also comes from a lot of 90s chick flicks.
CZ: What’s your favourite chick flick?
LF: Oh that’s such a hard question [laughs] I can’t not say Clueless, but I love 13 Going on 30…
CZ: They’re very reliable…
LF: Yeah, when people ask, “What’s your favourite film?” they always expect it to be some arty film and I’m just like, “I love chick flicks to be honest.” They just fit everything, every mood you go through – especially if you’re hungover.
CZ: You’re living in your own chick flick at the moment.
LF: I like that! Maybe I’ll do that at some point when I’ve progressed in my career, kind of like the Spice Girls did.
CZ: Your video for Melted Ice Cream shares that aesthetic. What is the track about?
LF: When I wrote Melted Ice Cream there seemed to be a lot of relationships around me falling apart. Not just couples, but friendships too. I was going through similar things and a lot of my friends were, and it all just kind of happened at the same time. It was quite weird actually.
CZ: Now, you’ve supported Bay City Rollers!
LF: Yeah, that was great fun. I loved playing in the Barrowlands, I think every band that comes out of Glasgow wants to play there at some point in their career, so I was really lucky I got to do that so early on.
CZ: And Dream Wife.
LF: Yeah we met them a couple of years ago when we played with Black Honey and they were super nice and very supportive of other females in the industry.
CZ: How important is it for you as a young artist to see women in the industry really making a difference?
LF: It’s really important to me. I’ve been looking up to lots of female-fronted bands since I first started music. I always said my influences and inspirations were people like Debbie Harry etc, but it’s cool to now say there are a lot more current female artists that I look up to.
Hair: Linus Johansson
MUA: Rachael Thomas